Today, the United States Mint will officially release the America the Beautiful Quarters Program coin honoring Weir Farm National Historic Site (NHS). The Mint began the America the Beautiful series in 2010. The 12-year initiative includes 56 quarters featuring national sites in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. This is the second quarter of 2020 and the 52nd coin overall in the program.
Although the coin will be released into general circulation, Weir Farm NHS quarters will not be available at the park. The Mint will release collectible rolls and bags containing Weir Farm NHS quarters later this year. These products will be available for purchase via the Mint’s online catalog or by calling 800.USA.MINT (800.872.6468). The park will share any information on obtaining quarters through the Mint website or via any other sources when they are made available. In the meantime, check your pocket change, as the coin is being released into general circulation.
In order to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect employees, visitors, volunteers and partners, the Mint, in consultation with the National Park Service, canceled the Weir Farm 2020 America the Beautiful Quarters Launch and Coin Forum events that were scheduled for April 6 and April 7. Officials remain hopeful that once the public health crisis has passed and restrictions on large gatherings have been lifted, the Mint and National Park Service will be able to coordinate with stakeholders in Connecticut in identifying a date later this year to hold a coin forum and launch event.
Because Weir Farm NHS is currently in its offseason, no programs or visitor services are being offered at the park in the weeks surrounding the coin release. People are encouraged to visit the park virtually by exploring interactive resources, art and image galleries, and information offered on the park website as well as engage in conversation via the park’s Facebook page. Weir Farm NHS and the Mint will share information on any future planned activities related to the quarter via press release, park website, email mailing list, and social media platforms.
“Weir Farm NHS is thrilled to represent Connecticut on this stunning new quarter,” Superintendent Linda Cook said. “The design perfectly captures the feel of the cultural landscape of the state, and how Weir Farm is connected to it through art, creativity and nature.”
Weir Farm NHS is the only national park dedicated to American Painting and was home to America’s beloved Impressionist, Julian (J.) Alden Weir. The reverse (tails) design of the quarter representing this site portrays an artist, wearing a painter’s smock, painting outside Weir’s studio. It is inspired by various images of the studio and Weir’s paintings created on the property, as well as descriptions of Weir and his fellow artist’s creative inspiration from the rural environment. The inscription “A National Park for Art” appears in the lower right field. The coin was designed by Artistic Infusion Program artist Justin Kunz and sculpted by medallic artist Phebe Hemphill, who are both credited with the artistry of several coins issued by the Mint.